UK compensates Vietnamese teen for illegal detainment, attempted rape

By Phan Anh   May 3, 2019 | 03:56 am PT
UK compensates Vietnamese teen for illegal detainment, attempted rape
A Vietnamese teenager has won $110,500 from the U.K. government as compensation for him being illegally detained and sexually assaulted in a U.K. immigration center. Illustration photo by Shutterstock/Tinnakorn jorruang
A Vietnamese teenager has been paid $110,500 by the U.K. government as compensation for illegal detention during which he was sexually assaulted.

The Guardian reported Friday that the teenager, whose name was not revealed, was paid $106,600 by the Home Office after it admitted that he had been detained illegally at the Morton Hall immigration center when a fellow inmate attempted to rape him in 2016.

The Home Office also admitted to have prolonged his detainment illegally for six months after the assault, even after it had identified him as a victim of modern slavery.

The teen boy was also paid $3,900 by the Ministry of Justice for failing to protect him while he was detained and for failing to launch an investigation following his assault.

He said he was a victim of human trafficking and suffered from debt bondage, sexual and physical violence when he was trafficked from Vietnam at the age of 17.

In 2013, he was forced to tend to cannabis plants in an empty property in Chesterfield for three months by the criminal gang that had trafficked him.

He was subsequently charged with cannabis cultivation and sentenced to eight months in the Glen Parva Young Offenders Institution before being transferred to the Morton Hall.

It was only earlier this year that his conviction was overturned. The Crown Prosecution Service said he should never have been prosecuted and should have been recognized as a potential victim of human trafficking instead.

Vietnam recorded over 3,000 human trafficking cases between 2010 and the third quarter of last year, in which 4,500 traffickers traded almost 7,000 victims, mostly women and children from poor and rural areas, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The country is also one of the top source countries for modern slaves in Britain - at least 3,187 Vietnamese victims have been identified since 2009, according to official data.

About 362 possible child victims from Vietnam were discovered in Britain in 2017, up more than a third over 2016.

Victims trafficked from Vietnam most commonly end up being exploited, often in cannabis farms and nail bars, but many are also sexually exploited, according to a report commissioned by Britain’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland.

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